Parenting With Chronic Pain: How to Explain Your Condition to Your Kids

Parenting With Chronic Pain: How to Explain Your Condition to Your Kids

Many of the patients in our care have expressed concern about how to keep their chronic pain from affecting their relationships. This is especially true of parents; as parents we are always looking for ways to offer our children the very best our ourselves. This can be hard to do when chronic pain is involved.

We understand and believe that the answer may not be as complicated as it seems. Today our team of orthopedic doctors in Bedford TX (locations also in Benbrook and Lewisville) will share several tips on explaining your chronic condition to your children in a healthy, helpful way.


Have Simple, Honest Conversations

We all know that kids see far more than we realize (or sometimes even intend for them to see). This is certainly true of what they observe about their parents’ health. It’s more than likely that your son(s) or daughter(s) already know something is going on with you. Don’t leave it up to them to wonder or worry – give them an opportunity to talk with you about it.

Don’t hide the fact that you hurt but don’t overwhelm them with specific details, either. Look for ways to explain your condition as simply as possible, especially when it comes to kiddos ages 5 and under. Consider using a specialty book to begin the conversation, such as:


Invite Questions

Sometimes it can also be helpful to let your child lead the conversation. Offer an open-ended invitation for your son or daughter to ask questions about your condition. It may even be helpful to schedule an appointment with a member of your care team specifically for your child to ask questions of your doctor as well.

Our clinic currently has Bedford doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Benbrook and Lewisville). If you are looking for a chronic pain specialist who will serve you and your family with excellence, care and compassion, look no further! We would be honored to help answer your questions as well as any your loved ones are curious about.


Draw a Line Between “Helpful Child” and “Caregiver”

One of the most challenging parts of parenting with chronic pain is the tendency for children to want to help by taking on parental responsibilities. It is essential that parents with chronic pain make it abundantly clear what role their children play in the impact of that pain on the household. In other words, as much as possible, keep your children from being your primary caregiver. Reinforce this goal with follow-through such as:

  • Getting help from professionals or peers (including household tasks) as needed
  • Clearly designating age-appropriate responsibilities/chores that you do expect of your child
  • Giving your child an opportunity to feel helpful by simply spending quality time together

Start by defining primary caregiving roles – tasks necessary for an individual’s survival – and secondary caregiving roles – tasks done under supervision and for the purpose of building character. This will help you sort through what your son or daughter can take on without becoming overwhelmed.


Addressing YOUR Fears & Emotions About Your Condition

One of the most underrated good parenting tips involves treating yourself with the same kind of care you offer your children. Be sure you are taking appropriate measures to manage your own emotions about your condition. Some tips we recommend include:

  • Getting help dealing with your parental guilt, depression or anxiety
  • Finding and leaning into your “village” (Consider a virtual community if your condition makes leaving the house difficult)
  • Making regular check-ups with your care team a priority
  • Incorporating positive self-talk and self-care into your life

Remember that your kids are watching your actions and learning from your words and your actions. The kindness and patience you show yourself might be one of the best lessons they learn from you about how to treat themselves in challenging times.


Orthopedic Doctors in Bedford TX

Whether you are a parent or not, living with chronic pain is not for the faint of heart. We understand and are here to help. Your chronic pain should not stop you from living life! We provide a 360-degree treatment approach to pain management and would be honored to become a part of your care team. Call today to schedule your first appointment at one of our three convenient north Texas locations.

© 2024 Comprehensive Pain Institute
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